New skills centre set to ramp up college’s net zero efforts

New skills centre set to ramp up college’s net zero efforts

A state-of-the-art training facility supporting sustainable construction and energy efficiencies has been opened at West Lothian College

The Alex Linkston Skills Centre for Sustainable Living is part of the local college’s contribution to achieving Scotland’s net zero ambitions. The first of its kind in Scotland, the new centre has two houses.

One is built to low-carbon standards with certified air tightness and thermal properties, with  triple glazing, solar panels, an air source heat pump, heat recovery ventilations and electric car charging. This low-carbon house provides sustainable and energy efficient living solutions, and is designed with features that provide platinum, gold and silver level certifications.

The other house is a shell, with no internal fittings or walls, for developing the practical skills to retrofit to low-carbon standards.

The new centre is named after Alex Linkston, who is in his last year as Chair of West Lothian College. Former chief executive of West Lothian Council, Alex has been on the board of the college since 2005.

Graeme Dey MSP, Minister for Higher and Further Education, officially opened the Skills Centre for Sustainable Living on 19 September. He welcomed the new centre, saying: “I’m delighted to be able to mark this unique launch, which will help address the changing skills needs of industry sectors aiming to achieve a net zero economy.

“Supporting Scotland’s current and future workforce to develop the skills needed for the net zero transition is a priority for this government and I’m pleased to see our funding used for such an innovative project, especially one so founded in partnership working.”

Jackie Galbraith, Principal of West Lothian College said: “This is an exciting day. Our Skills Centre for Sustainable Living will play a vital role in helping West Lothian achieve its net zero ambitions by enabling current and future workers to gain the necessary skills to build a carbon neutral future.” 

The Skills Centre was built with funding from West Lothian Council’s allocation from the Scottish Government’s Place Based Investment Programme.

West Lothian Council’s Executive councillor for Economy, Community Empowerment and Wealth Building, Kirsteen Sullivan added: “I’m delighted to see the skills centre for sustainable living open at West Lothian College.

“We have supported this worthwhile project with nearly £500,000 from the Place Based Investment Programme to help develop sustainable construction skills in West Lothian.

“With the growing important of the green economy, these skills will be increasingly valued by employers going forward so will help local students secure good jobs in an expanding sector.”

The Skills Centre for Sustainable Living will help develop a skilled workforce to achieve net zero. It will provide energy efficiency training for 500 young people in its first year.

For more information about the Skills Centre for Sustainable Living at West Lothian College visit